I know I am supposed to eat healthier. I have actually known this for many years. But since my MS diagnosis, eating healthy has become downright crucial. Some even claim that a good diet will help control your symptoms, especially fatigue. This claim is the cruelest of all the MS conundrums I have heard. A nutritious diet takes work, work is exhausting, and therefore, you have to have energy to work at it. But if you aren’t eating well, you don’t have energy.
It’s far easier to rip open a bag of chips, take the top off a pint of ice cream, or get in your car for a quick visit to the drive thru, than it is to improve your diet. Having a good diet means you must go to the grocery store to buy fresh produce, stand in the long lines to pay for it, bring it home, wash it, chop it, and find a recipe that isn’t too disgusting. Next, you must actually cook the good-for-you-food and then clean up afterwards, storing it properly so it will last another day or two. And, you must do all of this while drinking water, no soda for extra energy, and running to the bathroom constantly, as water goes right through you. I am exhausted just thinking about it. I am taking some chocolate chip cookies to bed instead.
But I do realize how important this is, so I am determined to figure it out. I grabbed some popcorn and set out to research on the internet how I can sneak better foods into my life. This was when I got the best news! It turns out that kale, a staple of my Portuguese upbringing and an additive in the best comfort soup ever, is actually a vegetable! Who knew? Not only is it a vegetable, it turns out that it is like the best vegetable in the whole world! The internet says that kale is the new super food. I have been doing it right all along. We Portuguese people have been way ahead of the get fit game.
Then I thought of something else. Last year, the internet was raving about a new super food, the acai berry, which was discovered in the jungle of Brazil, where people are Portuguese! And the year before, doctors were raving about red wine. Turns out red wine is good for you too and the best wine comes from, you guessed it, Portugal. Something about antioxidants and ‘good cholesterol’ or something like that. The experts suggest not drinking too much of it but I know people who drink it all day, like juice, and are full of energy, let me tell you. Then they sleep really well at night. It all makes so much sense!
Never had I been more proud of my heritage. This diet information seemed endlessly positive. My grandfathers were fishermen and fish is good for you. Every time I was at a fish fry, I was being healthy! Not only the fish, but the potatoes in the fries were helping also- potatoes are a vegetable.
I decided that all I needed was to eat Portuguese food. Who knew what the next super food would be, but I was convinced it would come from my family’s homeland. Trutas, awesome Portuguese pastry, are filled with sweet potatoes after all. Are trutas next year’s super food? I am done worrying about this. If you are looking for me, check my local bakery where I will be taking great strides to improve my diet.
About the author: Yvonne deSousa was diagnosed with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis in 2009. Yvonne created her blog designed to help those with chronic illness laugh amid tears. Yvonne also enjoys writing about Cape Cod history and has been published on Cape Women Online and in the Provincetown Banner, and Cape Cod Times. Visit Yvonne online at YvonnedeSousa.com or Yvonne deSousa on Facebook.improve my diet.